Retired British expats flee the Costa del Sol in DROVES.


Retired British expats flee the Costa del Sol in DROVES.

Due to a crackdown by Spanish authorities, a large number of British expats are fleeing the Costa del Sol.

Many of the 360,000 Britons living in Spain are concerned about their future due to a slew of new restrictions and tough enforcement by the Spanish police. Many are already starting to sell up, according to property expert and real estate managing director Robert Barnhardt.

Robert went to Spain in 1984 and now owns and operates an estate firm in Fuengirola, a town on the Costa del Sol noted for its sandy beaches and summer festivities. His clients include both British and Spanish residents, and he chatted with This website about the newest property trends on the Costa del Sol.

“A lot of retired British people are starting to sell up,” he explained. They used to come down in September or October and stay until April/May to take advantage of the nicer weather for six months.

“However, they may only stay for 90 days now, and many of them used to drive down.” The Spanish are becoming increasingly rigorous when it comes to foreign-plated cars, particularly those from the United Kingdom.

“A lot of folks have been driving about in the identical English cars down on the country roads where I reside out in the sticks.

“I mean, I’ve seen them for at least 10-15 years in the same vehicle. They’re now being impounded since it’s against the law.” Driving in Spain, according to the RAC, requires that your vehicle display the UK letters, which must be visible regardless of what is on the car’s number plate.

Robert also claimed that health insurance is influencing British expats’ decision to sell their homes on the Costa del Sol.

“A lot of older folks are preferring to travel,” he informed this publication. Sometimes it’s due of their health coverage or healthcare.” According to Expatica, an expat can only receive free healthcare in Spain if they are a resident or working and contributing to social security.

Around 360,000 British citizens are registered as permanent residents in Spain, but transferring has become much more complicated post-Brexit.

“The British citizens no longer have the rights they had before Brexit to come and live down here,” Robert explained.

“You could acquire a temporary residence permit, but it was really difficult when I initially moved here permanently in the early 1980s.

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